Prepare Your Voice for Singing if You Are a Smoker
Edited by Christine dela Cruz, Lynn
Have you ever struggled to sing right after you smoke? Is smoking something that you can't give up yet, although you do recognize it has an effect on your singing? It may help to know of some ways that can help inhibit the immediate effects of smoking on the voice. While it is best to quit smoking completely, if you are still in the process of doing so, it won't hurt to do damage control in the meantime.
Common Negative Effects of Smoking that Singers Hate
- 1Even if your voice is not husky 100 percent of the time, you will most likely have episodes where your voice just suddenly turns lower and becomes rather raspy. It feels like something in your throat is being blocked and it does not feel as smooth as normal.Husky voice.Advertisement
- 2This is one of the long-term effects of smoking on the voice. Singing requires stronger muscles of the vocal cords so that breathing is managed accordingly when sound is being produced. However, the components in cigarettes, particularly nicotine, weaken the muscles of the vocal cords. Therefore, the quality of the sound being produced is affected eventually.Inability to hold breath much longer.Advertisement
- 3There is this so-called "smoker's cough" which occurs regularly among smokers. These are persistent bouts of coughing, even when a person does not have flu-related cough. The continuous stress that vocal cords go through because of this persistent cough will eventually impair its function.Coughing.
- 4This is related to smoker's cough in a way that there is an urge to cough because of the sensation of having phlegm in the throat, even when there is none.Feeling of having phlegm in the throat.
- 5Nicotine, apart from its direct negative impact on the muscles in terms of making them stiff and poor in blood circulation, causes dehydration, which makes muscles sore. This leads to a feeling of tightness in the throat, which radiates out to the neck. This is a rather uncomfortable feeling when singing, especially because you cannot exert much effort when having to belt out words.Muscle tightness on the neck.
- 6Smoking in itself causes the swelling because of the components in cigarettes. At the same time, smoking makes the body weaker, thereby making it less capable of recovering from inflammation and other infections. Therefore, once the vocal cords start to get irritated and inflamed, the tendency for this to keep on happening is very high.Persistent swelling of the vocal cords and surrounding areas.
- 7While smokers may not really find the taste unpleasant anymore because they had become used to it, smoking often creates a bitter taste in the mouth which lingers in spite of intake of breath mints or brushing the teeth. Having this taste in the mouth can be rather distracting when singing.Unpleasant taste.
Embarrassing Things that Can Occur While You Sing If You Are a Smoker
- 1Inability to reach very high notes, or breaking of the voice once it reaches the higher notes.Advertisement
- 2Phlegmatic syllabication, which does not occur consistently, but will make a few parts of the song raspier than the others.
- 3Sudden urge to cough in the middle of a song, because of itchiness.
- 4Sudden vomiting.
- 5Incorrectly pronouncing the lyrics because of tongue stiffness or uncomfortable taste in the mouth.
- 6Foul breath that can reach your audience, especially if you are singing in a small air conditioned venue.
- 7Having excess saliva or the sensation of salivating.
- 8Lowered control over saliva, causing spraying of saliva on the microphone or towards the audience as you belt out the lyrics.
- 9Lack of stamina or easily feeling tired after singing only one song.
How to Prepare Your Voice for Singing if You Are a Smoker
- 1Dehydration will only make your muscles stiffer, as well as cause poor blood circulation. At the same time, drinking, particularly plain tap water or juice, will help clear out your throat. Do it in between smoking, ideally in proper proportion with every puff. Drinking will also help you unconsciously consume less, because you spend half of the time drinking while a cigarette is lit, instead of puffing.Keep yourself hydrated as much as possible.